Okra , otherwise known as ladies' fingers, bhindi, bamia, ochro or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. This delightful vegetable is grown and cooked all over the world, in stews, sauces, and in recent times, okra has even made it onto the sushi menu.
Okra has such a vibrant green colour, we really wanted to experiment this week with okra, cooking it briefly so it retains its stunning colour. We know okra so well in casseroles and stews and how tender they are in slow cooking. But surely, these emerald green lady fingers can be enjoyed in a quick sauté too. Well, we are about to find out!
We sliced the okra in halves lengthways, keeping the tops on the okra. This cooks the okra quickly and gives the final dish more depth and richness in colour. Another little tip when heating a pan for sautéing, do not add the olive oil in the beginning when the pan is cold. Wait until the pan is hot, then add the oil, at the same time as the okra. In this way, you won't burn the oil and smoke out your kitchen
We find that having flaked almonds already lightly toasted, saves so much time when cooking with almonds on a regular basis. Either dry fry the flaked almonds in a pan with no oil, gently heating the almonds, releasing the natural oils in the nut, creating a light golden colour and a crisper flake. These toasted almond can be added to so many every day dishes, like salads, garnishes to fish, yoghurt, fruit dishes and even on top of a cake mixture before you place it in the oven.
Okra with Caramelised Onion Jam
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
200 okra, halved lengthways
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Carmelised Onion Chilli Jam (see blog for recipe)
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic, then add the okra, cut side down.
Sprinkle on the cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté 10 minutes or until lightly golden in colour.
Fold through the Carmelised Onion Chilli Jam and flaked almonds and serve warm.